A burning! A Burning! Don’t you just love gathering your pitchforks and torches and laying siege to the castle of the evil…er…floppy haired scientist…?
As I happily strolled around the kingdom of Twitter today I found all kinds of hatred – climaxing in this…
But let’s take a breather…start at the beginning…
Here’s the original interview with the lovely John McDonnell where he lists some of the horrors this Tory government is responsible for – and how he says, although he can work with them whilst keeping a civil tongue in his head, he can never forgive them for what they’ve done to his constituents and the most vulnerable in society.
…and Lordy, it’s hard to argue with him.
Professor Brian Cox came back with this…
As well as the rather robust response above, a number of folk have put their weight behind this blog, in which the writer states (amongst other things)
‘Every Labour member is outraged by his attack on shadow chancellor John McDonnell….’
I’m a labour member, and I’m not outraged…and I certainly don’t think he attacked the shadow chancellor.
One of my concerns here is the Ceiling Effect – what happens when he actually does something really bad, like invading Lichtenstein…?
Will we be even more outrageder? Outragedister?
I believe love, reason and, dare I say it, forgiveness are the weapons that are going to win this war.
You’re not buying it?
Indulge me – stay with me (and a few guests) right to the bottom of the page…
We’re bobbing around in a world of confirmation bias.
We hang out with/ follow and are followed by people we agree with people who share our ideals and values.
So when someone comes along with a statement we disagree with – God do we feel it! No matter how much we try to engage our brains, our first response is visceral.
And why shouldn’t it be?
Take another listen to John McDonnell’s interview – the harm this Tory government has inflicted on our most vulnerable people is horrific.
Since the beginning of austerity, the British Medical Journal tells us that over 120 thousand people have died prematurely because of that policy.
Shelter tell us that there are now more than 320 thousand people homeless, that’s the population of Newcastle, many of whom can hold up Universal (Bastard) Credit as the primary cause of their difficulties…
At the same time we see the wealthiest people receiving massive tax breaks – for example Denise Coates, the founder of Bet365 who awarded herself £265 million last year, would have paid nearly £40 million more in tax had the rates from the 1980s been in place today.
The back stabbing and political chicanery we’ve seen with this government over the past 8 years would have been edited out of Game of Thrones for being too far fetched.
In my opinion, this has been by far the worst U.K. government in my 53 years on the planet.
And I’m furious!
My anger, although incredibly energising, isn’t about to change anything.
I was worried that John McDonnell’s anger at the parliamentary Tory party would be conflated with your average Tory in the street. Looking again at the vitriol fired at Brian Cox, it’s clear that’s a horse that bolted some time ago.
So how will we get folk to vote with us? How do we say, ‘C’mon in, the water’s lovely,’ without them thinking, ‘Fuck off, I know it’s swarming with piranha..’?
We greet folk from ‘the other side’ who say things that might suggest they agree with us with the less than welcoming phrase, ‘Fuck off, hypocrite!’
We fail to consider they’ve been immersed in their own world of crazy Corbyn, skivers and strivers, a world of confirmation bias fed to them by the usual suspects from the right wing press.
I really don’t know why people would vote conservative – but I’m guessing a lot of it’s down to visceral fear and prejudice.
We need to question, listen and raise awareness without calling folk who don’t share our beliefs, a bunch of fucking cockwombles.
And before you start patting yourself on the back for your lack of prejudice…consider what goes on in your mind when you think of a Conservative. How much of that is fact, and how much is prejudice driven fiction?
Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, tells us it’s time to move on from the Westminster, combative model of government.
She says it takes strength to be an empathetic leader…
Forgiveness is a continuum. I think it’s a philosophy many of us can try out when we consider all kinds of situations. I’m not saying it’s the solution to all our conflicts, but reading , ‘The Forgiveness Project : Stories for a Vengeful Age’ is well worth a few hours of anyone’s time.
I don’t agree with Brian Cox’s tweet – Initially I did – then I did some background reading and listening- and now I don’t.
The suggestion that JD is looking for a ‘One Party State’ wasn’t terribly well thought through, and pretty divisive for that matter.
By distancing himself from Tories, John McDonnell is definitely not calling for a single party solution as the professor suggested in his tweet.
That said, I certainly don’t think the professor is the Tory sympathiser or BBC puppet many parts of Twitter tells us he is…
At the same time, although I understand John McDonnell’s statement about not forgiving Tories for the destructive shitstorm they’ve rained down on our people, I don’t think that’s the best way ahead.
Although I don’t think me and Esther McVey will be picking curtains any time soon….
You might agree with me…you might not…but let me leave you with a few quotes from some pretty magnificent folk from our recent history.
Read them, and then tell me I’m wrong…
‘Let no man Pull you low enough to hate him’ Martin Luther King Jnr
‘We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than the things that divide us’
‘As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.’
Walk a Mile